Delivering the news of my move has forced me to face the issue of my impact on others. See, I like to think that when I leave places, whether it be for a short while or a long while, it doesn’t really matter to anyone. I don’t want to assume that I mean as much to the people around me as they mean to me. I’ve been trying to figure out why I do that since I broke the news of our move to my closest friend in Bloomington the other night. I could sense that my words had an impact because of what she said in our conversation afterwards. I kept downplaying it like it wasn’t that big of a deal, but I I do that to avoid the knowledge that I do matter and I do have impact on the people and groups I am involved with.
On the way home I thought about what motivates me to do this because I don’t just do it at times like this, when I’m moving and it’s easier to acknowledge that I take up space and have impact on others. I also do it when I’m simply leaving somewhere. A party, for instance. I’ll leave a party without saying much because, after all, I’m not that important and no one will notice I’m gone. Then I find out later that someone was peeved because I didn’t say good-bye or worse, that I hurt someone’s feelings because I didn’t let them know I was leaving.
I hate hurting someone’s feelings. Maybe that’s part of all this – I really don’t want to have to respond to that – to be respons -able for it. I don’t know how to. What do I do? What can I say? If I acknowledge that I matter, than I feel like I have to do something about it, like in this case, not move, stay always or at least wait until someone else leaves first. And I know that’s not a viable solution, so in my lovely little disconnected head, I pretend I don’t matter so I don’t have to face this.
It’s easier to hide, to be little and invisible, than it is to be visible. I’d rather work behind the scenes most of the time than be on center stage. I’m the master of the “it was nothing” response to praise. And at the same time, I mean, hey, look what I did — recognize me. It’s this weird dichotomy, that I simultaneously want to disappear and be seen at the same time. Ugh, I feel like I’m on the tip of saying something important, of having some kind of break through with all this, but my mind keeps pulling back from it.
So if I acknowledge that I do matter, what then? How do I deal when people are sad about me going, or angry, or in any way emotionally reacting? Do I do something? Do I not do anything? Not doing anything makes me feel supremely uncomfortable. If I’m causing something, I want to fix it. And in this, I can’t. Do I just have to be uncomfortable? I don’t know. If anyone out there has any insight, I’m wide open. I want to handle this move in a way that is emotionally mature and responsible. I want to acknowledge my impact but I don’t want it to hurt anyone! Is it just a reality that if you are out there enough to make a positive impact, you are out there enough to make a negative one? And is causing someone sadness necessarily negative? Fuck if I know. I seem to be more full of questions these days than answers, and when the answers come, they’re not easy.